Though there are "no formal plans," discussions are underway between President Donald Trump and administration officials to open up the issue of climate change through a debate process, the Washington Examiner reported Sunday.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt was spearheading the idea, sparking a "debate among top Trump administration officials over whether to pursue such a strategy," The Washington Post reported Saturday, citing an unnamed source.
"There are no formal plans within the administration to do anything about it at this time," a source told the Post.
In January, during Pruitt's confirmation process, he told a Senate committee he disagreed with the idea climate change was a hoax, but would not detail his thoughts about whether human activity was the cause. Pruitt told Breitbart news outlet in early June he supported questioning the science behind climate change.
"The American people need to have that type of honest, open discussion, and it's something that we hope to help provide as part of our leadership," Pruitt told Breitbart.
Critics fear opening the issue up to debate would give heft to the idea the scientific community lacked agreement on the validity of climate change.
Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists, told the Post a debate would "promote the notion of a lack of consensus about the core findings, which in fact is a false notion."
The debate structure could mirror a "Red Team/Blue Team" approach often used by the military and businesses, where a Red Team would critique a document and a Blue Team would rebut the critique. A commission would then review the critiques. The process offers the opportunity to challenge assumptions while looking at new ideas and approaches, the Examiner explained.
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